A recent study in China has brought new hope for patients with Appendiceal Pseudomyxoma Peritonei (PMP), a rare type of cancer. The study reveals that Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) may significantly prolong survival rates in patients.

Here we’ll look at what the study found, explain what HIPEC is, and discuss the treatment options available for PMP.

Understanding the latest study

The recent study investigated the benefits of using Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) in patients with PMP with researchers looking at the medical records of 526 patients over a 10-year period. They found those who received HIPEC in addition to surgery, lived longer overall compared to those who had surgery without HIPEC.

The study also found that having HIPEC slowed down the progression of the cancer. However, patients with a more severe form of the disease had poorer outcomes, regardless of the treatment.

It was concluded that HIPEC could be beneficial, especially for patients with a less severe form of PMP.

What is HIPEC?

Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) is a unique, advanced treatment for certain types of abdominal cancers, including Appendiceal Pseudomyxoma Peritonei. By delivering heated chemotherapy drugs directly into the abdominal cavity during surgery, it allows for high concentrations of the medication to come into direct contact with cancer cells.

HIPEC is often used after surgeons remove as much of the cancer as possible. The heat improves the effectiveness of the chemotherapy and the direct application also minimises the body’s exposure to chemotherapy. This can spare the patient some of the side effects associated with systemic chemotherapy.

Am I suitable for HIPEC treatment?

Usually, HIPEC is considered in late stages of cancer, where the cancer is localised within the abdomen. It is not suitable for all patients, with it putting a lot of strain on the body. Therefore, you need to be physically fit enough to withstand the procedure that can take up to 10 hours or more.

HIPEC is a valuable addition to abdominal cancer surgery, especially in cases where complete surgical removal of the cancer is challenging. It’s important for patients to discuss all available treatment options with their doctor, considering factors like the stage of the cancer, their overall health, and treatment goals.

Scheduling an appointment with consultant colorectal surgeon Dr Jamie Murphy can help you determine if HIPEC is the right treatment for you. After an initial assessment, you’ll be advised which treatment method is likely to be the most successful.